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Levi Stubbs RIP, Calexico, Annuals, Beck, Animals on Animals   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 20, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

LEVI STUBBS, who led the Four Tops to more than 40 hits on the Billboard pop charts, died on Friday in Motown at age 72.  The Tops totally burn through these live versions of "It's the Same Old Song," "Standing in the Shadows of Love," and "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch" and "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" in Belgium (even with a few video glitches), but the quasi-live version of "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" is pretty darn good too... and in color.  They totally lip-synch through "Something About You" on Hullaballoo and "Baby, I Need Yor Loving" on Shivaree, but worth it for the teens rocking out and girls squealing in the bridge. I should not have to break out Billy Bragg's "Levi Stubbs' Tears" twice in the same year, but that's the way it is -- and Bragg captures a more melancholy version of the raw desperation Stubbs was a master of summoning from a song.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS talks about the Twin Cities and her new album with the Mpls Star-Trib.

CALEXICO stopped by the World Cafe via Tuscon for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

THE ANNUALS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

BECK releases a video for the title track to his "Modern Guilt" album.

EDWYN COLLINS talks to the Independent about coming back from two strokes which left him unable to walk, talk or sing.

STAYIN' ALIVE: Ironically, it's useful for Stayin' Alive.

TODD RUNDGREN talks to The Scotsman about his new album of heads-down, no-nonsense, mindless boogie.

THE SOUL of JAMES BROWN: Five unusual and exceptional tributes and covers are streaming at NPR.

DON CORNELIUS, 72-year-old creator and longtime host of the iconic television show "Soul Train," was arrested Friday night on suspicion of felony domestic violence.

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE: Reports of what Ritchie might get in a divorce setllement range from just £10 million to as much as 60 million dollars in property and cash.  Madge's lawyers claim that Ritchie was a cruel and verbally-abusive husband who would belittle and ridicule her in front of others (by saying things that seem largely true). The real father of adopted son David is bitterly disappointed and wonders whether he would be better off back in Malawi.  The Daily Mail claims that Madge is hoping she can have a natural child with Alex Rodriguez, despite her age.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Max Payne tops the box office with 18 million, which may not be too bad, considering the generally poor track record for videogame-based movies.  Still, with a 35 million budget, it's not looking like the world's best investment.  Beverly Hills Chihuahua drops to second place with 11.2 million.  The Secret Life of Bees debuts in third with 11 million, which is about the pic's broduction budget; producers Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have to be pleased. Oliver Stone's W made 10.5 million on a 25.1 million budget; this is considerably less than the opening numbers for World Trade Center, Any Given Sunday or Alexander.  Eagle Eye rounds out the Top Five with 7.3 million; it has now made back its 80 million production budget in the US.  Body of Lies drops to sixth and is looking like a bust, as is The Express and City of Ember.  Meanwhile, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist plays on, having made 26.7 million so far on a 10 million cost.

DAVID DUCHOVNY & TEA LEONI: Duchovny's tenns coach is not going to deny she had an affair with Agent Mulder.

BRADGELINA: Pitt is looking busy these days -- Just Jared has the first pic from Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, and Pitt is in negaotiations to star in adaptations of The Odyssey and Moneyball, with the latter being written by ace scribe Steven Zaillian.  Meanwhile the L.A. Times notes that Angelina's movies tend to be marketed based on word of Jolie's mouth.

KATHERINE HEIGL is reportedly adopting a Korean orphan, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.

QUANTUM of SOLACE gets an advance review from the BBC: It's badder, better but not bigger, clocking in at one and three-quarter hours.  It opens in the UK on Halloween but not in the US until November.  In the meantime, new Bond girl Olga Kurylenko appears nude in The Ring Finger, which was shot in 2005, but goes to DVD to coincide with the new Bond movie release.

IRON MAN 2: Terrence Howard claims to be shocked at the news he has been replaced by Don Cheadle in the super-sequel.

THE WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE BRA: Looks good on Adrianna Lima, anyway.

TERROR in the UK: "Another great plot" is being investigated by the authorities, counter-terrorism minister Lord West warned last week.  Meanwhile, a link between terrorism plots and hardcore child pr0n is becoming clear after a string of police raids in Britain and across the Continent, an investigation by The Times of London has discovered.

NORTH KOREA is set to make an "important announcement" today amid speculation over the health of its leader Kim Jong-Il, a Japanese newspaper has reported.

IRAN & IRAQ: More than 80 pages of newly declassified intelligence documents for the first time describe in detail an elaborate network used by Iraqis to gain entry into Iran and train to attack US troops.

IRAQ: The number of foreign journalists in Baghdad is declining sharply, a media withdrawal that reflects Iraq's growing stability and the financial strains faced by some news organizations. The Marines in Fallujah have done what was unthinkable before the surge began - they have quietly transferred out of one of Anbar province's largest cities.

ANIMALS RIDING ANIMALS: Best Week Ever posts a photo gallery.

HOMER the CAT has no eyes, but still dispatched an intruder.

DOGS EAT CAR: And it's not the first time, either.

SURFIN' RAT: Everybody's heard about the rat. Pics at the link.

TIGER CUBS shown in Honolulu.  Awww...some video at the link.

2079 Reads

80s Movie Music, Minus The Bear, Cutout Bin, Dogupuncture   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, October 17, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE TOP 80 MOVIE SONGS OF THE '80s! Almost all with Tube links, so I'll limitmyself to a few personal faves, like "Positively Lost Me" from the Rave-Ups (Pretty In Pink); the re-do of "Crying" as a duet by Roy Orbison and k.d. lang (Hiding Out); the re-do of "Pretty in Pink" by the Psychedelic Furs (Pretty In Pink), which I actually prefer to the original (it's the sax, I think -- and my link is a better version, too); Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" (Purple Rain - which is missing a link from the blog);  "A Million Miles Away" by the Plimsouls (Valley Girl) and The Bangles cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "A Hazy Shade of Winter" (Less Than Zero). BONUS: Joe Jackson backed Suzanne Vega on "Left of Center" (Pretty In Pink - though he's not in the clip), which is not on the list.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks to the Denver Post about contemporary artists he admires. Like Amy Grant.

MINUS THE BEAR stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

ALBERT HAMMOND, JR.: The sometime Stroke did a Lillywhite Session you can stream on demand via NPR.

STEVIE WONDER is kinda homeless; his Porter Ranch-area house went up in flames earlier this week, destroying all of Stevie's memorabilia, photos, musical instruments, history, clothing, and furniture.

BILLY BRAGG talks about love, pop politics and Wilco with the Ithaca Journal.

THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN calls out the instigators. Because there's "Something In The Air."

LESTER BANGS, widely regarded as the greatest rock critic of all time, gives an interview from beyond the grave via Glide magazine's Hidden Track.

DAVID BYRNE talks to The A.V. Club about outgrowing anxiety, letting the message dictate the medium, and why there will probably never be a proper Talking Heads reunion.

THE DEATH of the ROCK STAR: Carrie Brownstein eulogizes.

THE BASEBALL PROJECT is running a World Series contest.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Turtles to the Dead Milkmen, from the Gang of Four to the Dells, from CCR to the Embarrassment, from the New York Dolls to XTC, to the Creation, Todd Rundgren and Of Montreal covering Nirvana, plus more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include Max Payne, currrently scoring 17 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the comedy Sex Drive, currently scoring 43 percent; Oliver Stone's W, scoring 54 percent; and The Secret Life of Bees, which is at 57 percent.

MADONNA, with a £75million looming, couldn't resist suggesting that hubby Guy Ritchie is "emotionally retarded" during a concert in Boston.  Because she's classy, what with the faux British accent and all.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY's ex Peter Cook apparently has a sex tape featuring his then his curvy teen office worker Diana Bianchi.

JEN ANISTON & JOHN MAYER: A number of Ansiton's closest pals -- including "Friends" co-star Courteney Cox and her husband, David Arquette -- are upset about the renewal of the tumultuous Aniston-Mayer fling.  The reunited couple celebrated Mayer's 31st birthday at a cigar club.

MICHELLE WILLIAMS & SPIKE JONZE were... wait for it... caught canoodling after a screening of their new film, Synecdoche, New York in Manhattan.

DAVID DUCHOVNY & TEA LEONI separated not because of his sex addiction, but after he discovered explicit text messages on her cellphone from Billy  Bob Thornton? Billy Bob's rep denies it, natch.

JENNY McCARTHY claims she cured her six-year-old son of autism. The American Academy of Pediatrics is not amused. Dr. David Gorski saw this story coming in August.

TIM BURTON talks to the L.A. Times about "Alice in Wonderland," "Dark Shadows," "The Dark Knight" and... "Sanford & Son"?

STAR TREK: The Entertainment Weekly piece on the J.J. Abrams reboot is now online.

ZACK & MIRI make a movie that is tough to advertise.

AFGHANISTAN: The international effort in Afghanistan is falling short, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned, stressing the need for a better integrated approach to stabilizing the country. In what is taking shape as a substantial policy shift, the US wants to use tribes to bring law and order to the vast areas of the country beyond the government's authority.

IRAQ and the US negotiators have reached a final agreement on a draft security pact that would require US forces to withdraw from Iraq by 2011. Iranian officials have attempted to bribe Iraqi members of parliament not to vote for the agreement. Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani seems to trust Iraqis and their political leaders to decide on what to agree to and rely upon.

DOGUPUNCTURE: Let's go to the video.

UNRULY SWINE undeterred by the sheriff's stun gun.  The porker remains on the lam.

PUNCH-DRUNK PONY has to be rescued from a swimming-pool.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Militant squirrels are developing an immunity to the squirrel pox virus.  Better Red than Dead for squirrels.

FROG: It's what's for pizza.

MUSKRAT LOVE: Scientists try to explain it better than the Captain and Tennille.

2291 Reads

'Mats, Alejandro Escovedo, AC/DC, Jolie Holland, Monkey Man   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, October 16, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

NEIL HEFTI, jazz trumpeter and soundtrack composer, died in Los Angeles. Idolator hooks you up with the themes to The Odd Couple and the Batman TV show.

THE REPLACEMENTS: Captain's Dead has posted the Boink! bootleg of outttakes, alt--takes and B-sides in two parts for your streaming and downloading pleasure.

ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

AC/DC is advance streaming their new album via VH-1.

THE 100 GREATEST AMERICAN ALBUMS OF ALL-TIME, courtesy of Blender.

JOLIE HOLLAND talks to Paste about her new album (and M. Ward's true role in it), as well as upcoming projects.  And she actually went to "Mexico City" to celebrate the day of the Dead for the video.

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman talks to the Toronto Star about songwriting on tour and Canadian Thanksgiving.

MAGNETIC FIELDS: Stephin Merritt talks to the Denver Post, which finds him in a delightfully gloomy mood.

GUNS N' ROSES: If the long-awaited (but reportedly awful) Chinese democracy album appears before the end of the year, Dr Pepper plans to make good on its offer to send a free can to "everyone in America" except Slash and Buckethead.

RON SEXSMITH discusses the Exit Strategy of the Soul with JAM!, noting the Cuban horns and percussion were not his idea.

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE are getting divorced after nearly eight years of marriage but have not agreed on a settlement yet. It is believed the couple did not sign a pre-nuptial agreement, which could put Ritchie in line for up to £150million. Gwyneth Paltrow spent the past few months desperately trying to convince her best friend Madonna to reconcile for the sake of the couple's three children.  Speaking of which, Lourdes reportedly wants to spend more time in the US, but Rocco and David have roots in London.  A source close to the singer tells Usmagazine.com she and Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez "are definitely romantic."

KIRSTEN DUNST reportedly parties hard in Hollywood, just months after leaving rehab.

BRITNEY SPEARS made a record-breaking jump to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 -- her first No.1 since her debut single "...Baby One More Time" in January 1999.

JENNIFER ANISTON & JOHN MAYER shared a romantic dinner in West Hollywood on Tuesday.

ANNE HATHAWAY's con man ex-boyfriend tries to blame her for his fraud. Classy.

STAR TREK:  The J.J. Abrams reboot has released production pics to several movie sites, like Aint-It-Cool, in advance of the Entertainment Weekly cover story Friday. Meanwhile, Abrams clears up confusion over the absence of a Shatner cameo.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4? Not so fast, says original screenwriter Terry Rossio.

ISLAMISM in the UK: BBC director general Mark Thompson has admitted that the broadcaster has to tackle Islam differently to Christianity and is reluctant to broadcast jokes about it.

AFGHANISTAN: Blogger Michael Yon has a new dispatch on The Road to Hell.

IRAQ: In Mosul, US troops acting on a tip killed the No. 2 leader of AQI.

MONKEY MAN is paid around 7 US dollars a day to scare monkeys away from a train in India. Let's go to the video.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A militant squirrel attacked an Iraq vet in Springfield, IL.  A flaming squirrel sparked a brush fire in Redding, CA.

BAST^RD DOVE with a strange coo can still find a mate.

EXOTIC SPIDERS invade the United Kingdom.

PUPPIES are chivalrous.

2119 Reads

Tegan & Sara, Halloween Radio, 1-Hit Wonders, Anjana   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

TEGAN & SARA played "Call It Off" for Dave last week, where he made them seem even tinier than usual.

HALLOWEEN RADIO, courtesy of Slacker.

THE WATSON TWINS: Leigh Watson surveys their career so far with the Louisville Courier-Journal.

JENNY LEWIS talks to The A.V. Club about the recording of her new Acid Tongue album -- and using ProTools like analog tape. 

AQUALUNG played the World Cafe on Friday; you can stream the gig now via NPR. AFAIK, snot is not running down their noses.

FEIST tells the Canadian Press she's taking a break when her tour ends in November; she's as tired as dirt.

25 UNFORGETTABLE ONE-HIT WONDERS -- most from the past 20 years -- courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. Somewhere in the middle of that unordered list is Semisonic's "Closing Time," which is a good excuse to relink Semisonic's fab predecessor, Trip Shakespeare.

RYAN ADAMS: According to Rawkblog, the upcoming Cardinology album "sounds like f***ing Phil Collins... And I kinda love it. Sigh."  Live previews at the link.

MARNIE STERN talks to Pitchfork about her long, convoluted path to becoming a guitar goddess, her songwriting process, the pros and cons of not having a debut album until after she turned 30, and the significance of the title of her sophomore release, This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That.

CROOKED FINGERS: Eric Bachmann talks to Crawdaddy about self-releasing his latest "band" album.

JOHNNY CASH'S AMERICA: The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports on a new documentary featuring interviews with Bob Dylan, Al Gore, US Sen. Lamar Alexander, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Sheryl Crow, Jon Langford of the Mekons, producer Jim Dickinson, Ozzy Osbourne and Snoop Dogg.  The film debuts next Thursday on the Bio channel; here's the promo.

JENNIFER ANISTON & JOHN MAYER are giving their relationship another chance, meeting up last Friday for a Ray LaMontagne concert.

GERARD BUTLER ("300") has been... wait for it... caught canoodling on camera with model-actrass Shanna Moakler. Pals claim the two are just old friends, but the video at that link shows a bit more than talk.

LINDSAY LOHAN's alleged diva behavior has gotten her dropped from her role on Ugly Betty, even though a script including her character has already been written.

MADONNA has been branded ‘uncaring' by a British murder victims' group after she controversially stepped out at the premiere of her new movie wearing a pair of shoes with handgun heels.

FOREIGN BOX OFFICE is something I occasionally mention in reporting the weekend box office, but it's worth noting the global appeal of Eagle Eye and Wall-E, two examples of films that probably do well worldwide due to the relative lack of dialogue to dub or subtitle. And Mamma Mia is a tribute to the global appeal of ABBA.

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS: Veterans of Kill Bill and Death Proof join the cast of Quentin Tarantino's WWII movie.

IRON MAN 2: Don Cheadle will replace Terrence Howard as Jim Rhodes, apparently because Marvel is cheap.

BAMBI has been named the best tear-jerker of all time, in an unscientific poll by Pearl and Dean, which is getting a lot of press for some reason.  Top Ten Tear-Jerkers at the link.

SUMNER REDSTONE's National Amusements Inc. said that it had sold 233 million dollars' worth of Viacom and CBS stock to raise cash to comply with debt covenants.

NORTH KOREA: At Slate, Anne Applebaum notes that North Korea may be off the terror blacklist, but little has changed. "For the record, North Korea has sold missile technology to Syria and Libya, has assassinated diplomats, and has kidnapped Japanese and South Korean citizens and refuses to give a full accounting of their fate. North Korea also keeps untold numbers of its own citizens in concentration camps, which are direct copies of those built by Stalin, and knowingly starves many of its citizens to death as well. By any normal definition, North Korea is still a "terrorist" state, and everyone knows it..."

AFGHANISTAN: US military successes in Iraq have forced sophisticated and well-trained insurgents to pour into Afghanistan instead, the Afghan defense minister said Tuesday.

IRAN: The New York Times reports: "Former President Mohammad Khatami, a moderate under pressure by political allies to challenge President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in elections next year, held a high-profile event here on Monday that many saw as a possible first step in his return to the political arena."  In this context, "moderate" is a highly relative term -- for example, Khatami does not think Hezbollah is a terror group, compares Pres. Bush to Osama bin Laden, and has a lame record on democracy and human rights.

IRAQ and the US are working on backup plans that would allow US troops to stay beyond Dec. 31st if a security pact is not finalized by then. A British Foreign Office minister thinks reaching that a pact is critical to UK forces remaining there. Iraq's Kurdish leader plans to meet a Turkish delegation in Baghdad, for the first direct talks in four years.

ANJANA the CHIMP befriends a white tiger cub; she has also raised leopards and lions.  Awww...some pics at the link.

KBUCK the MINI-HORSE will get a shot at being a show horse after receiving a prosthetic eye.

SKIPPER: One part "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," one part "Body of Lies."

ELEPHANTS text-message rangers in Kenya.

PANDAS lounge in a tree. Awww...some pics at the link.

2165 Reads

The National, New Releases (and R Hitchcock), Flaming Rat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE NATIONAL rolled out a cover of the Velvet Underground classic, "What Goes On," at New York Magazine's 40th Anniversary Party. With horns, even. RELATED: The Guardian Music Blog covers John Cale's tribute to Nico at Festival Hall.

NEW RELEASES: Hand-picked David Bowie, I'm From Barcelona, Ray LaMontagne, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, Ingrid Michaelson, Secret Machines and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner. Lucinda Williams releases Little Honey.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK appears in Jonathan Demme's "Rachel Getting Married," as well as having two songs on the soundtrack, including the previously unreleased "Up to Our Nex."

BLACK KIDS do the three free songs thing for Daytrotter.

ROBERT POLLARD: The Memphis Flyer surveys the career (so far) of Mr. Prolific.

KISS is branching out into a line of branded Mr. Potato Head dolls. Pics at the link.

ANDREW BIRD is trying out songs from the upcoming Noble Beast album on tour Stereogum has your Fourfer Tuesday.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKER Patterson Hood explains to the Charleston City Paper why his solo album is held up. 

LIZ PHAIR is looking to write a book of fiction.

JULIANA HATFIELD talks to the Chicago Sun-Times about the relationship of her memoirs to her songwriting.

JON BON JOVI is being sued by musician Samuel Bartley Steele for 400 billion dollars. Sounds like Dr. Evil to me.

JOHNNY DEPP has been named the Sexiest Man in the World by the UK version of Cosmopolitan magazine, as girls go ga-ga for older fellas. Only three men in their 20s make the Top 25.

MARSHA, MARSHA MARSHA: Maureen McCormick's memoir comes out today, covering her romance with Brady Bunch sibling Barry Williams, dates with Michael Jackson and Steve Martin, cocaine binges and parties at the Playboy Mansion and the home of Sammy Davis Jr., an unwanted pregnancy and trading sex for drugs.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON have reportedly hit a rocky patch in their relationship - just weeks after going public with their romance.

BRADGELINA: The W magazine article with the buzzwothy cover is now online.

NATALIE PORTMAN has been quietly visiting sick children at an L.A. hospital three days a week.

JESSICA SIMPSON wants to have six babies.  Perhaps more interesting is that -- in a single interview -- she can say both "I'm pretty good at blocking negativity" and "A lot of people live in denial because it's easier, but I've learned it's not easier in the long run."

TWILIGHT: The final trailer for the teen vampire book adaptation is now online. 

J.J. ABRAMS, creator of Alias, Lost, Fringe, Cloverfield and the Star Trek reboot, engaged in a webchat with fans for the Guardian.

NORTH KOREA: Pics of a healthy-looking Kim Jong Il actually look to be months old. Shocka.

THE STANS: A 20-year-old American man was arrested late Monday at a checkpoint near the Afghan border in a tribal region where Pakistani troops are fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda. NATO Commander Gen. David D. McKiernan disagrees with media reports claiming we are losing in Afghanistan.

IRAQ: Gen. Ray Odierno says that Iran is working publicly and covertly to undermine the US-Iraq security pact. Ryan Crocker, US Ambassador to Iraq, is interviewed at the Long War Journal. The Iraqi Interior Ministry fired 20K policemen and officers through the past two years along with firing ministry personnel to reach a professional performance for the ministry.

FLAMING RAT sets house ablaze after prank goes awry.  Video and pics at the link.

DEER HITS HIPPO in Blair County, PA.

OVER 20 THOUSAND COWS have gone missing in the UK.

NEITHER RAIN NOR SNOW, nor ratllesnake bite will deter Florida mail carrier Efraim Arango from his appointed rounds.

HEY, IS THAT SIX LOBSTERS IN YOUR PANTS, or... oh, it is.

2121 Reads

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